How to Edit PDF Files – Free Adobe Acrobat Alternatives



For those who don’t know, PDF aka Portable Document Format is basically an open standard designed for the purpose of creating document exchanges which makes it independent of operating systems, application software or the system hardware. If we go a bit deeper into it’s background and history, Portable Document Format (PDF) was first created by Adobe Systems back in the year 1991 when it was first called “Camelot” which later evolved and started to be known as what we know today as ‘PDF’.

In general, a PDF file comprises of text, graphics, fonts and other stuff but one thing is common in all, they all have tightly fixed layout and because they are independent of all strict requirements of usability, you can use them on any operating system or hardware.

And as far as the usage and it’s popularity is concerned, the primary reason of it being more used for being used in documentations is because they have a compact size which means they consume lesser space and give more quality to the user unlike MS Word and other popular document formats where the files consume more space, require specific hardware and operating systems. PDF is a multiplatform type file which means the user can view their PDF documents on Windows PC, Linux or Mac computers.

But for me, I like PDF because it’s portable, you can carry your important files on your laptops and the best thing is you can use PDF files on your smartphones and in case you have uploaded your PDF file somewhere and you want quick access, it doesn’t even bother you to install the Adobe Reader, you can view your PDF files on the web browsers as well. You can use Google Docs Viewer to quickly view documents online.

You can view your PDF documents by using this online service, link : http://docs.google.com/viewer

A PDF document once saved, the output file and it’s content cannot be manipulated or changed and in case if you have created it for your personal use and you do not want others to access the data inside the PDF file, you can easily password protect it which also prevents others from copying it or printing in hard copies.


How to Edit A PDF File?


Okay, so in this post we will cover some of the basics to help you edit your PDF files without Adobe Acrobat, and we will also cover some of the free alternative softwares which are smart, powerful and they won’t require you to play the with source files or other technical stuff.

For those of you who don’t know, the PDF files by default are “read only” which means that you can read or view the PDF files on your computer but you cannot edit them. But don’t worry because we are going to share some really cool softwares to help you edit PDF files.


Online PDF Editing Tools for Quick Editing


When it comes about viewing a particular file or performing any file-type conversions, I always use the online conversion or editing tools because they are fast and they do not require me to search and install softwares. Sometimes people confront situations where they are in a hurry and they want to edit their PDF files quickly, so the online tools perfectly fit these kind of situations.

PDF Escape 

So top of the list for online PDF editing tool is PDFEscape, a very powerful online editing tool designed for performing different kinds of tasks which include online PDF reading, editing, form filling or designing etc. The best part about this online PDF editing tool is that it doesn’t require the user to download any plugins or other stuff or the output file will contain “watermarks” ( we all hate them, right!).

online pdf editing tool

PDF Escape is supported on all major browsers, for using this online tool, all you need to have is an active internet connections and that’s all, rest of the job will be done by this amazing tool.

You can also add annotations by using the custom shapes built inside the online services, add arrows, text boxes, link between pages using the hyperlink tool and add sticky notes. In case you want to suspend unauthorized access to your personal data, you can password-protect your PDF files using this online services. In short, it is just one single place and you can perform almost all the tasks…

Key Features:

  • Works on all major browsers
  • Direct ASP.NET integration for webmasters
  • Free PDF reader, editor and form filler
  • No watermarks
  • PDF Encryption using a password

Editing Metadata of a PDF File


For the purpose of editing PDF metadata of a file i.e title of PDF document, author, subject etc, you can use a very simple yet powerful editing tool which is known the Becy PDFMetaEdit.

BeCy PDFMetaEdit 

Becy PDFMetaEdit is a smart PDF editing tool which is free of cost, in addition to the PDF meta-editing, you can also encrypt your PDF files so that it may not be used or accessed by others.

You are going to love the easy to use user interface which lets you edit your meta-data in a single wizard, as seen in the screenshot above the program will show you title, subject, author name and keywords for the PDF file you’re editing. For those who don’t know much about the metadata, these values work like keywords or description and if used correctly, your PDF doc will get more exposure by driving more organic traffic in search engines i.e Google.


Edit Text in a PDF File


In case you have a PDF file which contains alot of text and you’re looking forward to edit the text of your PDF file, for that purpose, the technical way to get this job done is to find out a way to access the source documents of the PDF file but if you’re unable to find them then there’s one another way and that is to convert the PDF file into a Word document and then convert the Word document back to a PDF file. In this way, you will not be required to access or work with the source documents of your PDF file and you will be able to edit the text in PDF more accurately and the end results will exactly be the same.

PDF Export Kit Software

You can use PDFExportKit tool for the purpose of converting a PDF file to Word and then reverse the conversion after doing the required job. This software will not only convert a PDF file to Word but it will also help you convert a PDF to HTML, Text, Image and Excel.

The software comes with a combine kit of all PDF converter tools which you may need for performing the diverse range of conversions. However, you can also choose and download the type of PDF converter you want.

PDF to Word conversion tool will quickly convert a PDF file into MS Word format and at the same time the program will also preserve the layout and graphics of your PDF file.

The program will perform the conversion within three steps:

Step #1. Select the PDF file and the destination location where the converted MS Word will be saved.

Step #2. Specify the conversion settings.

Step #3. Your PDF file will now be converting into Word, this will take less than a minute.

That’s it, your PDF file will now be converted into an editable Word type file within a minute and then you can use it for editing purpose.

Download PDF to Word 3.1 > [Download Link]

After that you have made the required changes in your PDF file which you converted into MS Word format, for reversing it from Word to PDF you can use WordToPDF tool (click here), a universal doc converter which reverses the conversion.

Nitro PDF Software 

If your PDF file contains text and graphics, you will need an advanced tool for editing text in that PDF file and for that purpose, you can use NitroPDFSoftware which you can use for editing PDF files without ever having to working with the source file.

You can use this tool to make changes in type, size and color of the font, make changes to the text and most importantly, you can edit the graphics and images in your PDF file. By using the image editing tool you will be able to copy, delete, resize or rotate an image or add an image in a page.

Key Features:

  • Edit or Insert text in a PDF file.
  • Edit or Insert images or graphics in a PDF file.
  • Add watermarks or overlays in a PDF file.

Edit Images in a PDF File


As far as editing images in a PDF file is concerned, it’s more advanced thafn the previous methods of editing we’ve discussed. By the word ‘advanced’ I do not mean that you will have to play with the source files or any other technical stuff, rather it’s about playing with the images inside a PDF file i.e replacing or inserting images or adding signatures in a PDF files etc.

PDF Import Extension

It is a smart tool which lets the user to easily import and make changes to a PDF file using OpenOfficeDraw. While the user works with the PDF file using this extension the layout is always kept exact to the original document. You can use this tool for editing dates, numbers or text of a file. Moreover, you can also use this tool to import encrypted PDF documents and complex vector graphics elements.

You can download PDF Import Extension from the OpenOffic.Org’s extension repository.

PDF XChange

It’s another very powerful and popular PDF editing tool which creates industry standard Adobe compatible PDF files. It comes with a number of tools which lets the user to perform even more tasks than simple editing. You can use this tool for optimizing your PDF files, password protect it, add hyperlinks, generate auto bookmarks and easily converts TOCs to PDF and even more.

Key Features: 

  • Mirrored printing support
  • Watermarks and overlays
  • Extended font embedding
  • Developer API also available
  • Enchanced visual layout previewer

Download PDF XChange > [Download Page]

So that’s all for now, this is a complete guide for helping the users editing their PDF documents and we covered all the free tools which are no doubt the best alternatives to Adobe Acrobat.

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